Full-frame sensor raises the bar on image quality

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Nikon Full-Frame Photography

 

Nikon D610 DSLR Camera The Nikon D610 DSLR Camera features a full-frame, FX-format 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor to produce high-resolution still imagery and full HD 1080p video with notable image detail and low-light sensitivity to an expandable ISO 25600. The sensor and processor work together to enable high image quality with a wide dynamic range and high signal-to-noise ratio that produces both smooth color and tonal gradations with low noise levels for enhanced overall clarity. These two technologies also combine to provide a wealth of speed throughout the D610, including a continuous shooting rate of 6 fps and a quiet shooting mode that allows the camera to record sequential imagery without the mirror raising or lowering.

A Multi-CAM 4800 AF sensor is integrated into the camera's design and produces fast autofocus speeds using a 39-point array to precisely acquire focus in a wide array of lighting conditions. Seven of the central AF points are compatible with f/8 or faster lenses, which greatly enhances the autofocus performance with longer, telephoto lenses used in combination with teleconverters. When recording movies or working in live view, a contrast-detection focusing method works to continuously deliver accurate focus with subject-tracking and face-detection capabilities using the full-time servo mode.

Full HD 1080p video is supported up to 30 fps in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format and manual control over the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is possible for optimized control over the look and feel of movies. Uncompressed recording is possible with an optional external recorder connected via the HDMI port and, additionally, both headphone and microphone ports are available for refined control over recorded sound.

Extending the D610's connectivity, an accessory terminal is compatible with the optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter and GP-1A GPS Unit for wireless image sharing, remote camera control, and geotagging capabilities.

24.3MP FX-Format Sensor and EXPEED 3 Image Processor The 24.3 megapixel full-frame (FX) CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor work in tandem to produce overall high image quality with notable detail, dynamic range, color accuracy, and low-light sensitivity to a native ISO 6400, which is further expandable to ISO 25600. The processor also enables a wealth of speed throughout the camera system, including support for full HD 1080p movie recording, a full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 6 fps, and a continuous quiet mode for recording a sequence of images at 3 fps without the raising and lowering of the camera's reflex mirror. The sensor can also record imagery in DX format and will automatically switch to and support the use of DX-dedicated lenses when attached. Multi-CAM 4800 Autofocus Sensor Benefitting the exceptional image quality is an apt AF system that employs 39 distinct AF points to quickly acquire focus in a range of lighting conditions, from -1 to +19 EV. An intelligent Scene Recognition System, typically reserved for exposure metering, benefits the focusing performance by analyzing and identifying subjects to suit panning and tracking-based shooting styles. Depending on the situation, 9, 21, or 39 point arrays can be selected from and seven centrally-located AF points are compatible with f/8 or faster lenses, extending the auto focusing abilities of the longest lenses used in conjunction with teleconverters. When using this phase-detection focusing method, selectable AF-area modes include: Single-point AF mode, Dynamic-area AF mode, 3D-tracking mode, and Auto-area AF mode.

When working in live view, for either still or movie shooting, a contrast-based AF system is employed to acquire focus precisely and can function in continuous, full-time servo mode to better-suit working with moving subjects. Four distinct AF-area modes are available when using the contrast-detection focusing method: Face-priority AF, Wide-area AF, Normal-area AF, and Subject-tracking AF. Scene Recognition System and Exposure Metering The intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering II utilizes a 2016-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze all aspects within a scene, including brightness, contrast, subject distance, and the scene colors, to quickly determine an accurate exposure and white balance setting to best render the scene at hand. The information gathered is also checked against onboard reference images to ensure consistency from image to image in regard to exposure, white balance, i-TTL flash settings, and subject-tracking AF performance. Full HD 1080p Movie Recording Full HD 1920 x 1080p movie recording is supported in 30, 25, and 24 fps frame rates, as well as HD 720p in multiple frame rates, in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. During recording, manual exposure control is possible through adjustment of the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture setting and full-time autofocus can be employed, with face-detection and subject-tracking capabilities.

For enhancing the sound of recordings, both an external microphone input is available as well as a headphone jack for real-time monitoring of recorded sound. An HDMI output is also incorporated into the design and, besides enabling HD playback of video, also supports uncompressed recording of HD video by using an optional external recorder. Regardless of the lens in use, multi-area full HD D-Movie enables you to choose between FX or DX recording areas of the sensor to modify the composition and gain additional reach from lenses, as well as expanded control over the depth of field. Built-In Pop-Up Flash and i-TTL Support The built-in pop-up flash extends its functionality beyond acting as a source of additional light by also serving as a wireless Commander, capable of communicating i-TTL exposure information to two groups of remote flashes across three channels for refined control over strobe lighting. A hot shoe is also available and supports Nikon i-TTL and Creative Lighting System with compatible optional Speedlights.

Camera Design Even with a large FX-format sensor inside, the D610's overall form-factor remains relatively compact and lightweight, enhancing its portability and travel potential. Beside the optical pentaprism viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification, a 3.2" 921k-dot LCD monitor is available for clear, bright image playback, menu navigation, and live view monitoring. Dual SD memory card slots support a range of recording capabilities, including overflow recording and JPEG/RAW partitioning.

An accessory terminal supports the use of the optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter for Wi-Fi sharing of images and video as well as remote camera control from a linked iOS or Android device with the Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application. The GP-1A GPS Unit is also supported for adding locational data to images' metadata for geotagging applications.

Other Camera Features

Picture Control modes can be directly accessed via a dedicated button and allow you to set predefined looks to imagery in-camera, and include Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, Vivid, and user-customizable settings.

An intelligent noise reduction method analyzes the noise appearing in an image or movie and then automatically determines the proper amount of correction to apply in order to maintain the best balance of noise and image detail.

Auto ISO sensitivity control allows you to select a minimum shutter speed at which camera shake can be controlled from and then will automatically set the ISO value in order to best render the scene. A maximum sensitivity level can also be set in order to maintain overall noise levels.

RAW (NEF) files can be recorded as lossless compressed or compressed at either 12 or 14-bit depth.

Active D-Lighting helps to preserve both highlight and shadow details when working in contrast-rich scenarios, such as backlit lighting. Utilizing the EXPEED 3's processing power, a more controlled image will be produced with brightness values closer to how they are naturally seen. This mode is suitable for working with moving subjects.

Built-in HDR works to extend the tonal and exposure range of a single image by recording two separate exposures and blending them together in order to gain greater highlight and shadow details with an extended range of mid-tones. The smoothness of the edge where the two separate exposures meet can be adjusted for more apparent softness to benefit images with a greater range of exposure values. This mode is best suited for working with stationary subjects.

Automated time-lapse photography allows you to record images at designated intervals and then have them automatically saved as a video file for fluid playback of a slow-motion activity occurring over time.

Lateral chromatic aberration reduction, auto distortion control, and vignette correction are all supported when a NIKKOR lens is attached and work to reduce these optical anomalies in-camera for higher quality imagery.

An in-camera virtual horizon can detect both rolling (horizontal inclination) and pitching (forward or rear inclination) directions and display an electronic level on the LCD when working in live view. The rolling direction of tilt can also be displayed within the viewfinder.

Top and rear covers are constructed from magnesium alloy for a lightweight, yet rigid and durable body design that maintains dust-prevention and water-resistance performance. The interface covers are also designed in a divided manner to further ensure dust- and weather-protection to this ports.

The highly precise and durable shutter mechanism has been tested for 150,000 cycles and incorporates a self-diagnostic shutter monitor to maintain precision with minimal shutter speed variance.

Scene modes: Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dust/Dawn, Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colors, Food, Silhouette, High key, and Low key

Language support: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

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Specifications
Body type Mid-size SLR  
Sensor
Max resolution 6016 x 4016  
Other resolutions 4512 x 3008, 3936 x 2624, 3008 x 2008, 3008 x 1688, 2944 x 1968  
Image ratio w:h 3:2  
Effective pixels 24 megapixels  
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels  
Sensor size Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)  
Sensor type CMOS  
Processor Expeed 3  
Image
ISO 100 - 6400 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (50 - 25600 with boost)  
White balance presets 12  
Custom white balance Yes (4)  
Image stabilization No  
Uncompressed format RAW  
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic  
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
 
Digital zoom No  
Manual focus Yes  
Number of focus points 39  
Lens mount Nikon F  
Focal length multiplier 1  
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed  
Screen size 3.2  
Screen dots 921,000  
Touch screen No  
Screen type TFT LCD monitor  
Live view Yes  
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)  
Viewfinder coverage 100%  
Viewfinder magnification 0.7  
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec  
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec  
Aperture priority Yes  
Shutter priority Yes  
Manual exposure mode Yes  
Subject / scene modes Yes  
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)  
Flash range 12.00 m (at ISO 100)  
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)  
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain  
Continuous drive 6 fps  
Self-timer Yes  
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
 
Exposure compensation 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)  
AE Bracketing (2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)  
WB Bracketing Yes (2 or 3 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3 mired)  
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps)  
Format MPEG-4, H.264  
Microphone Mono  
Speaker Mono  
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slots  
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)  
HDMI Yes (Mini Type C)  
Wireless Optional  
Wireless notes Wu-1b mobile adapter  
Remote control Yes (Optional, wired or wireless )  
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Water and dust resistant)  
Battery Battery Pack  
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery & charger  
Battery Life (CIPA) 900  
Weight (inc. batteries) 850 g (1.87 lb / 29.98 oz)  
Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm (5.55 x 4.45 x 3.23)  
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes  
Timelapse recording Yes  
GPS Optional  
GPS notes GP-1


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Nikon D610 DSLR Camera Reviewed by Gene Wright on Rating: 5